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Today: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Last Year: 4-12 (3rd place in NFC South)
List of events for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
- Blew the first game of the season because of an unnecessary personal foul penalty that gave the Jets a chance at a game-winning field goal.
- Lost seven more games to bring their record to 0-8 through the first half of the season.
- Released Josh Freeman sometime during step #2.
- Won their first game of the season on November 11th.
- Finished the season with a 4-12 record.
- Fired their head coach, Greg Schiano.
- Hired Lovie Smith as HC and Jeff Tedford as OC.
- Overpaid Josh McCown to start at quarterback.
- Wrote a 32,000-word piece about themselves.
- No one read it.
Last Year’s Stud: Vincent Jackson
The Bucs featured the league’s worst passing offense — it averaged only 176 yards per game — and one of the league’s best receivers in Vincent Jackson — he accumulated 1,224 yards on the season or 76.5 yards per game. In other words, Jackson, on average, accounted for about 43 percent of his team’s passing yards. He also led the team in receiving touchdowns with seven and receptions with 78.
Josh McCown is coming over from Chicago as a quarterback who is accustomed to throwing the ball to huge targets (Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery). Jackson is 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds.
Jackson and McCown should get along just fine this season.
Runner-up: Lavonte David
Last Year’s Surprise: Timothy Wright
Finished second on the team in receptions (54) and touchdown catches (5).
Runner-up: Bobby Rainey
Last Year’s Disappointment: Josh Freeman and Doug Martin
I’d be hard pressed to find another opening day QB/RB duo that was more disappointing than Freeman and Martin. Freeman didn’t even survive the season, as he packed his bags pretty early on and headed to Minnesota. New team, same results:
And Martin … don’t even get me started on him. I drafted him for one my fantasy football teams. It didn’t go well. Martin failed to reach 500 rushing yards on the season.
Runner-up: Doug Martin and Josh Freeman (that works, right?)
The Bucs spent every draft pick on the offense, the most notable pick being Mike Evans out of Texas A&M, also known as the dude that Johnny Football used to throw the ball to. He’s got the size and catching radius to be a dominant threat at the next level. Josh McCown has got to be pleased that despite leaving Chicago he still has two huge targets to throw to.
Other notable pick: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
This Year’s Stud: Lavonte David
Say what you want about the Bucs’ offense last season, but the defense showed signs of being a dominant defense in the future. Now, David is going to be coached by Lovie Smith. Again, say what you want about Smith’s inability to field a competent offense during his tenure in Chicago, but Lovie Smith knows how to coach a defense.
Runner-up: Gerald McCoy
This Year’s Surprise: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
He never performed consistently at UW, but no one is doubting his potential. He’s got the body and the athleticism to succeed.
Runner-up: Charles Sims
This Year’s Disappointment: Josh McCown
I’m a Bears fan and acknowledge that what he did for us last season was nothing short of remarkable, but I don’t think McCown will be anything more than a league-average quarterback.
McCown has been around the league for a long time now. It was only last season — a small portion of it — that McCown played lights out. I think that has more to do with Marc Trestman and the Bears’ receivers.
Lovie Smith has never fielded a very good offense. Do I think Jeff Tedford is the cure to Lovie’s offensive issues? I’m not exactly sold on that.
The Bucs used every draft pick on the offense, so they’re committed to improving on that side of the ball. And Josh McCown is an upgrade over their QB situation from last year. I just don’t think he’s worth $10 million over the course of two years.
Runner-up: Mike Evans
Draft early: Vincent Jackson
Good value in the middle rounds: Mike Evans, Doug Martin
Don’t draft: Josh McCown
What Vegas Is Saying (LVH Sports Book): 7 wins
What We’re Saying: 6-10 (4th place in NFC South)
Projected list of events for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2014:
- Someone finally reads the 32,000-word article they published about themselves.
- Lovie Smith, at some point in the season, utters the following words: “Josh McCown is my quarterback,” and “We want to get off the bus running.”
- Doug Martin eclipses the 500-yard mark.
- Josh McCown begins to miss Marc Trestman.
- Lavonte David and Gerald McCoy nearly decapitate an opposing player.
- Team improves, but fails to reach the playoffs due to a tough NFC schedule and the fact that the Saints will win the division, the Panthers’ defense is nasty, and the Falcons won’t be nearly as bad as they were last year.
- Team writes 64,000-word article about itself titled “the Sequel.”
- No one reads it.
[genericon icon=twitter] Follow Sean Wagner-McGough on Twitter @seanjwagner